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Wrongfully convicted man files lawsuit against investigators

Posted at 5:09 PM, Dec 09, 2019

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A man who was exonerated after spending nearly two years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit is suing the officers who made the case against him.

Raymond McCann served 20 months for perjury after taking a plea deal in what a federal lawsuit claims was a scheme to manufacture charges to pressure him into confessing to the 2007 murder of 11-year-old Jodi Parrack.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, names the estate of the late former Constantine Police Chief James Bedell, Constantine officer Marcus Donker, St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Lonnie Palmer and MSP Lt. Shane Criger as defendants. All the investigators’ employers are also defendants in the case.

At the time of Jodi’s death, McCann was a volunteer reserve police officer who helped in the search and was the first one to arrive after her body was found at a local cemetery.

Investigators identified McCann as a suspect despite the fact his DNA did not match the DNA found on her body.

The lawsuit alleges the defendants created a false probable cause document filled with information they knew was wrong in order to coerce a confession out of McCann.

McCann eventually pleaded no contest to a perjury charge to avoid the potential of a life sentence he was facing if found guilty. He was exonerated for the charge after an investigation by the Michigan Innocence Clinic.

He is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.